LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Greg Cochrane
Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 15 (12 in MLS, two in the CONCACAF Champions League and one in the U.S. Open Cup); GS: 12 (Nine in MLS, two in the CONCACAF Champions League and one in the U.S. Open Cup); G: 0; A: 0
APPERANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 2
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 7; GS: 7
HIGHLIGHTS: From the start of the preseason, the 38th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft showcased a strong work rate that quickly made him a contender for a place in the Galaxy’s game day roster. Despite starting his tenure primarily utilized on the left side of midfield, Cochrane made his MLS debut on April 13 in LA’s 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas at left back with both Todd Dunivant and Bryan Gaul suffering from injuries. The rookie was one of the only bright spots in the Galaxy loss that night as he his high energy presence helped shut down any FCD attempts directed at the left side of Galaxy defense. The performance helped Cochrane become Dunivant’s preferred back up as he appeared in LA’s next nine matches—starting six of them in place of the injured veteran. Although his playing time dwindled over the second half of the season, he was a factor in LA’s CONCACAF Champions League campaign making two starts with LA winning and keeping a clean sheet in each. Fueled by his extensive experience in his rookie season, Cochrane was given the opportunity to start LA’s final two regular season matches after Dunivant was felled by an MCL sprain.
CHALLENGES: Cochrane’s energy and work rate led to plenty of success in his rookie season, but at times, the defender’s eagerness was used against him by opposing wingers. He attempted to push into the attack, but at times, was pulled out of position, leaving the right flank open for counterattacks. The most glaring example of this came on May 11 in Vancouver when the Whitecaps’ Russell Teibert scored a pair of goals thanks to his ability to quickly counter into gaps in the defense that were left by Cochrane’s forays up field. At the other end of the pitch, Cochrane’s service left something to be desired as the defender was routinely able to make dangerous runs up field, but struggled to complete the final pass to create scoring opportunities. For Cochrane to continue to develop as an MLS-level left back, he’ll need to fine tune both of these skills.
HIS THOUGHTS: “Training here with these coaches and these players helps you develop. I feel like since I was able to watch a guy like Todd who has been the best left back in this league for a number of years, I was able to pick up a lot of stuff. Over the course of the year, I got more comfortable with playing at this level and I kept trying to get better every day and push myself. That’s what I want to do in the future, just keep pushing myself to get better at everything.”
OVERVIEW: Greg Cochrane began the year as the last pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, but ended it as the LA Galaxy’s left back of the future and a frequent contributor for the club. Cochrane must avoid the dreaded “sophomore slump” in his second year with the Galaxy which caused problems for LA’s rookie stalwarts of a year earlier. For Cochrane to sidestep this problem, he’ll need to maintain his confidence and continue to push Todd Dunivant for his starting position. If Cochrane can duplicate his energetic performances of 2013, there’s no reason that he won’t be a long-term fixture for the Galaxy.
POLL: How would you rate Greg Cochrane’s 2013 season with the Galaxy?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com